That gives some great context. Thanks.
A few things…
First, LingQ does best when it knows your vocabulary, almost to the word. Right now, LingQ thinks I know about 35,000 words of French. And that’s really close. When I import an article, podcast, or video into LingQ it analyses it. The words I already know are set in a white background (nearly all the words), the words I somewhat know are in yellow, and the words I’ve never seen are in blue. I can then quickly see which are new to help me learn them.
However… here are some key limits. LingQ is all about words, and really their primary or any definitions. It sounds like you’re often needing to learn secondary meanings, that you’re needing to learn additional slang meanings to words. For example, in North American Gen Z English, “cap” can mean a lie or something otherwise false or exaggerated. You’ll already know that “cap” is a hat and LingQ would think you already know the word.
Then also, LingQ is more about words than multi-word idioms. Here, maybe think of North American Gen Z English “glow up,” meaning someone improved from where they used to be. LingQ would think you already knew the word “glow” and the other word “up” and wouldn’t really be of any help unless you went out of your way to select both words together to see if there’s anything in the dictionary. Then… there might or might not be something in the dictionary, as it’s crowd sourced. In English, I did just find in the LingQ English->English dictionary Gen Z definitions for “smol,” “clapback,” “cheugy,” “vibing,” “stan,” and “slaps,” but didn’t find contemporary definitions of “boujee,” “cap,” or “no cap.”
“No cap” means “I’m not BS’ing you” and I’m not.
Anyhow, that’s the state of the English->English dictionary in LingQ. I would only imagine the Italian->Italian and Italian->English dictionaries to be less robust from crowdsourcing.
Finally, I will say that at more advanced levels, I find LingQ’s web plug to be the near sole way I engage content in LingQ.
See: LingQ Importer - Chrome Web Store
Do take a moment to try it out. Install it and bring an article into LingQ and see if the Italian-> English and Italian->Italian dictionaries have what you’re looking for.
While LingQ is at it’s best when working with words, the built-in ability to quickly translate a sentence is usually pretty good. I think LingQ now uses DeepL rather than Google Translate which was used prior. Maybe importing podcasts and listening/reading along would be good and then when you encounter a word you don’t know, you hit the audio pause button and take a moment to translate the whole sentence and then check word-level definitions before moving on in the podcast. Personally, I usually find the Podcast in Youtube and then use the web plug-in to bring the audio and transcript into LingQ to then work with.
A supplemental, and rather manual, thing you could do then is to take the text of the podcast (I use “Print Lesson” and the “copy” from LingQ) and then paste it into ChatGPT with some sort of prompt derived from such as “Please identify and explain the idioms and slang in the following text.” I’ve found ChatGPT to be fairly helpful with such as this. It knows what it means to be “living rent free in someone’s head.”
I’m in my mid-fifties. My wife is a school principal. My stepdaughter is twenty-three and manages younger staff at the local grocery story. While I have a large, even rather erudite English vocabulary, I frequently have to ask them what popularly evolving words mean. They chuckle at me as they explain.